The Path Toward Heaven Chapter 437
438 Any Vicious Dog Is A Good Dog
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect was quite old, but Tian Jinren was even older. According to Jing Jiu, Tian Jinren left the South Ocean over six hundred years ago to look for the inheritors of the Great Grandmaster, Nan Qiu, on the Foggy Island. Eventually, he selected Jian Xilai for Nan Qiu, so he should be at least seven hundred years old.
His talent in Cultivation was ordinary, but his mental strength was truly exceptional. His willpower had reached an extremely high level after cultivating for more than seven hundred years. Normally, he wouldn't have any equal in the world. Unfortunately, he was good at predicting the destiny of others, but failed to anticipate his own misfortune; he had encountered the likes of Jing Jiu and the Young Zen Master in Zhaoge City earlier, and met the likes of Yin San later.
The worst part was that Tian Jinren thought that he and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect had set up a scheme for Yin San; but he didn't expect himself to be the one targeted in the scheme. His terrible defeat was inevitable, and his spiritual soul was controlled by Yin San before he had enough time to commit suicide.
"This scheme of yours is pretty good."
Yin San said this while looking at the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect with a satisfactory expression.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect felt a bit embarrassed. "I've learned some true knowledge after having been with the Immortal for a long while," he said while rubbing his red nose.
After having escaped from the Sword Jail of Green Mountain, Yin San went to the South Ocean to look for the Great Grandmaster on Foggy Island, and returned to the mainland with Xiwang Sun, which was the first step in taking back the Old Ones. Then he went to the wild fields on the Cold Mountain to find the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect; both of them had traveled the world for twenty years.
During these twenty years, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect was Yin San's bodyguard, servant, cheer-man, advisor and old dog.
Nobody was willing to be someone's dog, especially not a vicious demonic swordsman.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect, in his demonic Cultivation state, could kill Yin San easily; all he needed to do was move his fingers slightly, or simply blow a breath.
The problem was that he had no idea what magic method Yin San had used to prevent him from being discovered by the Sword Formation of Green Mountain until now.
And he didn't wish to go back to the underground of the Cold Mountain.
It was unbearable to live a life in a sunless place, and most of all, he had already come from there; he had no desire to go back there again.
If he wanted to shake off Yin San's control and sever the leash around his neck, he had to find a way in which he wouldn't be discovered by the Sword Formation of Green Mountain after he killed Yin San.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect had thought he could use the turtle shell by the Great Marsh as a shield, but he found that Emperor Xiao turned out to be a loyal follower of Yin San, so he had to give up the idea. Later, he thought of another hidden swordsman, and then fixed his sight on the distant Foggy Island in the South Ocean.
When he was at the Fruit Formation Temple, he contacted Su Ziye, who joined the West Ocean Sword Sect, through that fat monk working at the back kitchen. He identified himself and suggested that the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean do something together with him. He guessed that the West Ocean Sword Sect was a branch of the Foggy Island. Though this was a secret unknown to many people, it was not so hard for this demonic swordsman to figure it out.
It was really irresistible for the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean not to attempt to kill either Yin San or Jing Jiu once he found out their true identities.
In the beginning, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect thought that he could use the method similar to what the Foggy Island did to shield his energy after killing Yin San so the Sword Formation of Green Mountain wouldn't be able to find him. As he discovered that Yin San paid special attention to the First Child Sword, he thought of a better solution; that is, he would suddenly sneak an attack on Yin San when Yin San attempted to control Tian Jinren, and as a result, Yin San's spiritual soul would be instead controlled by Tian Jinren, and thus he would be able to find the magic method to evade the Sword Formation of Green Mountain.
As Yin San said, this scheme was pretty good, or even perfect; but it had one problem.
It was somehow discovered by Yin San.
Yin San didn't point it out; all he wanted to do was teach the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect a lesson.
Yin San anticipated that Jing Jiu would have a backup plan, no matter whether it was the Emperor or the Green Mountain Sword; but he didn't tell the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect. Yin San calmly watched him pierced by Liu Ci's sword, wounded, and have almost died.
After waking up by the Great Marsh, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect soon realized what had happened. He climbed out of the tub naked, knelt before Yin San, and wept regretfully in a plea for his forgiveness. Then, he sold the West Ocean Sword Sect out.
Yin San pulled out a wheat stalk from the hay, put it in his mouth and chewed on it while looking at the morning sun rising in the distance. "Don't do such a thing again," he said in a tired tone.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect stood up hastily, and behaved like a primary student, with both hands pressing against his legs, saying, "I won't dare do it again."
He was almost dead at the Fruit Formation Temple; this lesson was impressive enough for him. And he also realized why White Ghost hadn't shown up at the end that day.
It would be difficult for him to deal with a Principal Guard of Green Mountain, even at his height, but that guard behaved as amicably as a castrated cat before the Immortal. Why did the cat fear the Immortal that much?
That fat monk in the back kitchen at the Fruit Formation Temple had died of a terrible disease. He was deprived of eating the steamed buns dipped in the preserved bean curds and the barbecued meats wrapped in perilla.
The restaurant in Haizhou City was the contact place for the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect and the West Ocean Sword Sect; unexpectedly, it was a business of the Old Ones.
The Immortal was known all over the world and had connections from the West Ocean to the East Ocean, and from the snowland to Penglai Island; the whole of Chaotian was under the surveillance of the Immortal.
Though the Immortal was not invincible now, he was still all-knowing. Knowing this was a dreadful feeling.
However, Yin San didn't know that the blow the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect inflicted on the Unicorn looked brutal yet didn't cause any substantial damage.
Looking at the handsome and imperturbable young man lying on the hay, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect sighed inwardly and asked, "Does Immortal know the whereabouts of the First Child Sword?"
Tian Jinren lay under the hay, his eyes closed, a bit energy remaining.
Yin San glanced at him once, and said, "I have also found out some more information."
As the first person coming out from the Foggy Island, Tian Jinren knew a lot of secrets, and he was exceedingly familiar with the West Ocean Sword Sect.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect said with an obsequious smile, "Congratulations, Immortal."
Yin San jumped down from the top of the hay and dusted the wheat stalks off his clothes, heading to a distant place.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect picked up Tian Jinren and followed closely behind, like an old dog holding a piece of bone in his mouth.
They were headed for the place where the morning sun rose, though it was unclear exactly where they were going.
"Have you heard of a sword style called 'Coming Down from the Sky'?"
Zhao Layue seemed to have heard of this before.
It was many years ago when she and Jing Jiu were in Haizhou City and wanted by the Pure Heaven Bureau; the Cultivation practitioners of various sects who were to participate in the Four-Seas Banquet were ready to besiege and attack them.
The clouds and fog grew lighter until they had completely dissipated. The sword wills amid the cliffs grew more formidable, giving off the intention of attempt.
Though she had never seen it, Zhao Layue could tell that this was the intent of the Sword Formation of Green Mountain.
For three hundred years since the Immortal Taiping had stayed behind death doors, the Sword Formation of Green Mountain had never been activated; there wasn't even a sign of it.
Yet, the Sword Formation of Green Mountain had been activated twice within one year. The disciples of all the peaks had witnessed the true nature of the Sword Peak two times in a short period of time; it was truly shocking.
The Sword Formation of Green Mountain was activated at the end of last year to kill the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect at the Fruit Formation Temple in a long distance; but, what was the reason for its activation this time?
As Zhao Layue was thinking of this issue, the clouds and fog had returned to the midst of the cliffs; and the Sword Formation of Green Mountain had calmed down, indicating the target had been gone.
It was hard to activate the Sword Formation of Green Mountain, but it was even harder to retrieve it.
Jing Jiu knew that it was his Big Brother who had activated the formation; he was the only one who knew the operation of the Sword Formation of Green Mountain so well that he could turn it into a huge sword ten thousand miles away.
He used this sword to force the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect to be his bodyguard, and he also could use the Sword Formation of Green Mountain to do those things beyond his current Cultivation state, like what he had done earlier. Judging by the direction of the formation, the target his Big Brother used the sword for was most likely Jian Xilai.
There must be accomplices on the peaks of Green Mountain, like Fang Jintian and those who hid more deeply.
Among the four Principal Guards, the rooster and dog failed to ascend, but still they would more likely to support his Big Brother; Ada was more cowardly, so he didn't dare offend either side, and the Round Turtle only cared about sleeping.
The Sword Formation of Green Mountain was like a toy for his Big Brother.
Regardless, his Big Brother still had strong support on Green Mountain. If they were to go to all-out war, the outcome would be undeterminable.
Jing Jiu was certain that it was Bai Ren who had knocked him back to the humanworld, and that it was his Big Brother who had done something to the Formation of Dispersing Smoke and Cloud, but his Big Brother must have done so a long time ago, maybe four hundred years ago. It was a pity that they couldn't kill his Big Brother at the Fruit Formation Temple. If he were not unconscious at the time, he would ask the Emperor to pursue and kill his Big Brother first, rather than take care of him.
Regardless of how secretive this matter was, it couldn't possibly be concealed from others forever. If the One-Cottage House and other orthodox sects knew that his Big Brother had escaped, turbulence might ensue. At the very least, the Center Sect would make use of this matter to cause trouble. His Big Brother had caused so much bloodshed in Chaotian back then, which would be hard for people to forget.
The turbulence seemed to be coming.
Jing Jiu wouldn't be so concerned in the past; but he was too weak right now.
He looked at his right arm, remaining silent for a long time.
The badly deformed right arm looked like a plum tree wrapped tightly with a string in a vessel.
If it were the real plum flower, one might be able to find some kind of peculiar beauty in its deformity, but this here was an arm.
The Cultivation practitioners desired perfection. That was why many masters on Green Mountain thought Jing Jiu would have a bright future when they saw his nearly perfect face.
Being not so perfect would become a problem, because imperfection was almost the same as being ugly.
The right arm had been his real prowess. If it couldn't recover, it would affect his fighting power and future Cultivation.
After having recuperated half a year on the Sword Peak, the situation was just slightly better. At this pace, it would take thousands of years to entirely heal his right arm.
Jing Jiu felt dejected, a sort of emotion that was rare for him.
Of course, he seldom felt emotion.
If it were in his last life, he would be able to kill someone like Monk Duhai, a highly achieved monk, with one finger, and it would be impossible for him to be wounded so severely.
Remembering the pursuit of his Big Brother by Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui, Jing Jiu asked, "Even Shisui's sword couldn't break that bone flute?"
"Mine couldn't either," Zhao Layue replied.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu said, "Let's go to Shangde Peak."
It was very cold on Shangde Peak, a place covered in pine trees that could stand the coldness. The trees weren't so eye-catching; it was mostly because they were too singular. Anyone would feel bored after seeing them for a long time.
Standing at the foot of the peak, Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue could already feel the chilly wind up ahead.
Shangde Peak was the most restrictive place among the nine peaks of Green Mountain. The disciples were not allowed to enter the peak freely.
If they didn't intend to show their identities, the two of them had to find another way to get in.
Thinking of the cold temperament of the Sword Justice, Zhao Layue offered, "Let me ask Yuan Q to lead the way?"
It would be normal for a master to ask her disciple to do something for her, using his connection to get them inside.
"I'm more familiar with this place than he is."
Jing Jiu led Zhao Layue treading up the peak, but they didn't walk on the mountain path. Instead, they went into the forest.
The chilly wind tousled the branches of the pine trees, creating the sound of waving pines. Jing Jiu was indeed familiar with the place. There was no path here, and all they could see were the thick pine needles, but he could easily find their way around. Soon, they arrived in front of a cluster of cliffs in the west, and found a manor cave.
The temperature here was even lower than at the foot of the peak. If they were not the Cultivation practitioners, they would have to swaddle themselves with a few thick quilts to withstand the cold.
Following Jing Jiu into the manor cave, Zhao Layue found that there was nothing in it, meaning that it had been unoccupied for a long time.
In the far end of the manor cave, there was a stony wall. She reached out her hand to touch it, and found it was extremely hot. She discovered, surprisingly, that the whole wall was composed of fire jade.
A forbidding formation was attached to the stony wall, which was dismantled by Jing Jiu with a wave of his hand. They kept on walking forward, passing several narrow stone cracks, and made their way to a dark and gloomy tunnel.
The deeper the tunnel, the lower the temperature, and the layer of the ice and frost on the stone wall grew thicker.
After a long while, they had finally reached the end of the tunnel. It was a broken cliff.
There was an abyss, or a large hole leading to the underground, in front of the cliff, and the sunlight shone down from high above, illuminating the bottom of the hole.
A black dog as large as a mountain was lying quietly at the bottom of the hole.
The sunlight shone on his smooth body, which had pure black hair, resembling the precious satin.
Jing Jiu led Zhao Layue drifting down the hole.
The black dog opened his eyes and looked at them from above with a gloomy and indifferent expression.
"She is the peak master of Shenmo Peak; he is the Dead Dog."
Jing Jiu introduced for the two to each other.
The black dog lowered his head slowly, indicating that he had met her.
Zhao Layue bowed to him genuinely.
The black dog closed his eyes again.
Jing Jiu looked at the dog silently for a while, and turned around, heading to the deep part of the Sword Jail.
It was very cold in the Sword Jail, and very dry as well.
The energies coming out from the cells on both sides were very dreadful.
In these cells were the hideous demons and the swordsmen of the Underworld; some of them were the deviant practitioners with a great deal of blood on their hands. Given Zhao Layue's temperament, she would have shown an intense interest in the stories in these cells, and she might even want to find an opportunity to try her sword here; but for some reason, she didn't even take a look at these cells.
"This cell imprisons Senior Master Tai Lu. You should call him Young Great Grandmaster."
Getting no response from her, Jing Jiu turned his head around and found she seemed lost in thought.
"What's the matter?"
"NothingI've suddenly come up with the idea that Shenmo Peak should have a dog."
Zhao Layue snapped back to her senses and said this to Jing Jiu seriously.
"Yuan Qijing won't agree to it," Jing Jiu said, after some thought.
Zhao Layue gestured a size with her hands while looking at Jing Jiu, saying, "I want to raise a dog this big."
Jing Jiu didn't quite understand her, and demanded, "Why do you want to raise a dog all of a sudden?"
"We have monkeys, a cat, a cicada, and yeah, a horse you brought back on our peak; why not a dog?"
Zhao Layue added, "He would be able to guard the gate for us when we go out, since we can't always rely on that lazy cat."
"Why do you want to raise a dog?"
"Dogs are very loyal."
"Because the Master Dead Dog is awesome."
As they talked casually, the two of them came to a large hall in the deep part of the Sword Jail.
The floor of the large hall was covered with green stone slabs, surrounded by lights. It was much brighter than other parts of the Sword Jail, and also much warmer.
There was a passageway to their right hand, leading to the deep end, illuminated by lights. There was a cell at the very end.
The most formidable sword wills in all of Chaotian were placed in this passageway and outside that cell.
Sensing those sword wills, the expression on Zhao Layue's face changed a bit; she glanced at Jing Jiu reflexively.
"These are the sword wills I left here many years ago."
Jing Jiu led her heading toward the cell at the end of the passageway.
Back when he came to get Liu Shisui out, he merely took a glance at the cell and didn't go over.
It was because he didn't want to see the scene in that cell.
Now that they were his sword wills, Jing Jiu could easily dismantle the formation whenhe stepped on it.
It didn't take long for the two of them to arrive at the front of the cell. They pushed open the door of the cell.
The arrangements of the cell were sufficient. There were a bed and a table, wares of all sorts, the spring water piped in from outside, and a there was magic treasure that could project the blue sky and white clouds on the ceiling.
This was the only cell in the entire Sword Jail with such arrangements.
Seeing the white skeleton on the bed, Zhao Layue had already guessed who this person was.
But, the Immortal Taiping had merely escaped from the Sword Jail thirty years ago; whyhad his skeleton become white?
Jing Jiu walked to the side of the bed, and found the right arm of that skeleton was broken off from the elbow.
"Yeah, this is why."
Among those on Green Mountain, his Big Brother had the most profound understanding of everything being a sword'.
Hence, his flying sword didn't look like a sword, but a flute.
Looking at the white skeleton quietly, Jing Jiu seemed to see a lot of scenes.
In this isolated cell, his Big Brother had cultivated silently; he spent a great many years and suffered a great deal of pain. In the end, he had tempered his own arm into a flying sword.
Then, he pulled the arm off his body.
This showed how much pain his Big Brother had suffered, and how much pain the betrayal of Jing Jiu, Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing had caused him.
All of this pain would have become tremendous hatred by now.
Zhao Layue understood what Jing Jiu meant. She moved her sight from the broken arm on the white skeleton to Jing Jiu's deformed right arm, musing that they were indeed the brothers of the same master.